The Ministry of Tourism hopes to further penetrate the Canadian market with the launch of an aggressive media campaign to promote the Bahamas brand and several direct flights into the archipelago.
The campaign comes just in time to support the introduction of two new Sunwing Airlines direct flights into Grand Bahama from Calgary and Vancouver, beginning on November 1. This brings the airline’s total number of Canadian cities with direct flights to the Bahamas to eight.
The Ministry also wants to promote Air Canada’s direct flights to Exuma and Nassau, and West Jet’s non-stop service to the capital.
“It is really important that we market aggressively to the Canadian consumer and the travel trade to let them know that all of this inventory is available to the Bahamas from Canada,” said deputy director-general, Ellison Thompson.
The campaign began on October 21, when the Behold television advertisement aired for the first time in Canada during an episode of the popular romance reality television series, The Bachelor Canada.
Eight versions of the ad, featuring Bahamian NBA star Rick Fox and model Shakara Ledard, will air on the most-watched TV stations in Canada, including: HGTV, Dtour, Showcase, Food Network, Discovery, The Weather Network, CBC Newsworld, SportsNet, Travel and Escapes, and Cottage Life.
Ambrose Morris, communications manager for the Bahamas Tourism Office Canada, said: “It’s a national campaign that extends from sea to sea – from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. This is the coming out, so to speak, of Bahamas television ads in Canada. It has been many years since we have done that.”
Sunwing is taking the Bahamas brand to eight cities in Canada with an aircraft wrapped with the Islands of the Bahamas and Grand Bahama logos.
In Toronto, images of the Bahamas will dominate the Air Canada Centre (ACC) through a 360 degree monitor display, and exterior superboards, InSuite monitors, and concourse digital monitors throughout the centre.
The Bahamas brand will be displayed during all ACC events, including the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey games and the Toronto Raptors basketball games for the duration of their seasons.
Posters of the Islands of the Bahamas also adorn the interior walls of the Toronto Transit Commission subway. Minister of Tourism, Obie Wilchcombe, and a team of tourism officials viewed the ads in Toronto during the recent media visits.
In western Canada, two large murals in the Burrard Street Station in Vancouver entice thousands of TransLink subway commuters to visit Grand Bahama Island via Sunwing Airlines’ new non-stop flight. Above ground, the SkyTrain wrapped with the Bahamas logo and imagery will be a moving advertisement for the country’s brand.
Over in Calgary, Bahamas ads will run every 60 seconds on digital boards throughout the city for the next 10 weeks.
“As soon as the weather starts to get bad in places like Canada you have to make sure that your message is where the consumer is going to be,” Mr Thompson said.
“So for those persons who are commuting in the morning, it’s cold, it’s grey, it’s snowy, and they’re already thinking that they need to get away. Then they see these wonderful islands of the Bahamas, and we’re there in front of them saying this is the place you need to go and it’s convenient to get there.”
The Bahamas Tourist Office in Canada has also launched an aggressive social media campaign complete with Facebook contests and Twitter parties.
The campaign ends on June 22, 2015.